Rethink on dress code for nurses

2008-08-28 00:00

The KZN Health Department has found that a “revised” dress code recently imposed on nurses at Addington Hospital “may be unconstitutional and/or illegal”.

The dress code policy recently introduced by the hospital management prohibits nurses from wearing jewellery and other accessories, including cultural string bracelets and the cultural red dots that married Hindu women wear on the forehead.

This, the management said, is intended to improve infection control and to prevent the outbreak of diseases due to cross-contamination among patients in the hospital.

However, some nurses, especially those who are Hindu, protested the dress code. Some said it infringed their religious rights.

This has prompted the department to summon the hospital’s senior management to its Natalia headquarters where they will be expected to “explain their motive”.

Health Department spokesman Leon Mbangwa said the revision of the dress code “was an internal matter and the department was not consulted when this dress code was developed … Hospital institutions like Addington are not mandated to formulate and implement policies without the authority of the minister or the member of the executive authority”.

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